An Electric Experience at the Car Dealership

“What can I do to get you into a new car today?”

If you’ve ever purchased a car through a dealership, chances are good you’ve been asked that question. Now, imagine a future where you’re asked, “How can I get you into a car that helps save you money and cleans our air today?”

That’s exactly what we at SDG&E envision with a proposed program to partner with local car dealerships to provide the education and resources their salespeople need to advocate for cost-saving, clean-driving electric vehicles (EVs).

Changing with the times

For decades, gasoline and diesel engines were the only options available for passenger vehicles, but that’s no longer the case. As evidenced by our State’s ambitious emissions goals, the way we think about and treat our environment is changing, and so are the products that consumers want.

Instead of the biggest SUV on the block, many families are now seeking bragging rights for having the cleanest, most cost-efficient ride in the neighborhood. But for car dealers who have dedicated years to conventional fuel vehicles, adding hybrid and electric vehicles to the sales pitch isn’t as simple as adding a few lines to a script—it means thoroughly learning about the technology and its benefits.

The right tools for the job

If approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, our program will allow us to provide dealership salespeople with the knowledge and tools needed to promote the financial and environmental benefits that EVs deliver—saving families money and helping get more clean-driving machines on our roads to prevent harmful emissions from entering our air.

Working closely with local dealerships, SDG&E will provide certification programs for employees to better understand the green technology and the grid integrated rates available to save customers on their fueling costs, so they can easily relay benefits to prospective EV-drivers. Additionally, SDG&E will offer limited financial incentives to both dealerships and individual employees for successfully matching customers with an EV or plug-in hybrid that fits their needs. 

Teamwork makes the clean air dream work

By teaming up with car dealers and salespersons—the main point of contact for many customers—we can grow the number of clean-driving machines on our roads at a much faster rate than we can achieve on our own, moving California closer to a healthier tomorrow.

This article is part of a series taking a closer look at seven projects proposed by SDG&E to increase access to electric vehicle charging infrastructure as we work to clean the air for a healthier tomorrow. Learn more about our plans to electrify transportation and clean our air, here.